Sikkim Police detained three members of Sikkim Progressive youth forum on no legal grounds claim members of SPYF. Referring to Sikkim Police as SKM Karyakartas, Pravin Upreti, member of SPYF said, “Three of our members, namely Rupen Karki, Lekhak Sharma and Pravin Sharma were detained by Sikkim Police who are working as SKM Karyakartas. They were detained without any reason while returning from Samardung, South Sikkim.”
Addressing a presser here in Gangtok, Upreti stated that three members of SPYF “on invitation” had taken part in the protest staged by casual workers of Alkem Pharmaceutical, a pharma company at Samardung, South Sikkim. The casual workers in protest were demanding a hike in salary. However, while returning from the site three members were detained by Sikkim police without any legal grounds, alleged SPYF. “On one hand Sikkim Police show that they are working for the people and on the other hand they arrest people without reason” he said.
Claiming the arrest to be an arbitrary act and questioning the loyalty of the police he said, “It is our constitutional right that we can visit any place we want to but the way Sikkim police have arrested three of our members without any legal grounds shows that they are working as the aide of of SKM party. If they (SPYF members detained) would have created any offensive nuisance then why didn’t the police detain them on site? We still don’t know where they are being taken.”
Upreti further alleged and attacked the State Government and the Labour Department to be working as ‘dalals’ of private companies. “On May 1, Chief Minister Prem Singh Tamang on one of his public gathering announced that state government will set 15000 as minimum wage. After almost one and half months a notification was issued by the state government, and the issued notification stated that the state will increase minimum wage after taking feedback from citizens after two months.” Upreti said pointing out the evident contradiction.
“On one hand government notifies the department to increase minimum wage, on the other hand the department claims that they need time to submit complete report. This shows that the department and state government are ‘dalals’ of companies and are trying to side-line the demands of casual workers” he added.
DIG Range Sikkim Police Tashi Wangyal Bhutia on the detention stated that, “Three members of SPYF are detained for the night, under 151 CRPc. We had credible source that they were likely to create non-cognizable offence and were instigating the labourers, so to avoid such (any uncomely incidents) Sikkim Police detained them for a night.”
Furthermore, DIG informed that they will be produced before the magistrate and that none of the other protesters were detained. However Sikkim Police refused to clarify the location of the SPYF members’ detention.
Similarly, Manish Verma SP Namchi District stated, “We have not detained any member from any organization or with the organization name, we have detained three individuals seeing the consequences and probable outcome that was anticipated as per legal provision.”
“They were detained for prevention of offence, police is empowered to take a preventive step and hence they were detained as per CrPC 151. We have not filed a case against the individual based on the situation, circumstances, and information by various sources.” He added.